Computer chips get tough

August 26, 2004 | Source:

A method to make virtually perfect crystals of silicon carbide could revolutionize the electronics industry.

Silicon carbide (SiC) is much better than silicon at carrying current in an electronic circuit, so it could potentially reduce the amount of energy wasted in every electronic device in the home or office. It can also operate at much higher temperatures, so it could be used in devices that would precisely control the supply of fuel.

The Japanese researchers discovered they can build silicon carbide wafers by growing the crystals in several stages to minimize defects.

Makamura D., et al. Nature, 430 1009 – 1012 (2004). doi:10.1038/nature02810